City intends to buy Arbuckle-Simpson water rights

From the left, Ada City Manager Cody Holcomb and Mayor Tre’ Landrum listen to a discussion during Monday’s meeting of the Ada City Council. The council declared its intent to purchase water rights within the boundaries of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.

The city of Ada took another step Monday toward ensuring that the city has enough water to meet its present and future needs.

Voting 5-0, the Ada City Council declared that the city was interested in buying water rights within the boundaries of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.

“This resolution will allow the city to solicit offers for the sale of water rights within the Arbuckle-Simpson’s boundaries and utilize licensed real estate brokers or agents to assist in locating and purchasing water rights,” said City Manager Cody Holcomb.

The city is not looking at buying a specific set of water rights at the moment, but it is announcing its intent to buy rights near the aquifer. The aquifer, which covers more than 500 square miles in south-central Oklahoma, is the main source of water for Ada, Sulphur and other communities.

The resolution directs Holcomb to seek offers from landowners within the aquifer’s boundaries for selling their water rights for $300 per acre. The city will pay a 6 percent commission to a licensed real estate broker or agent who presents a contract to buy water rights for that amount, but the commission would not be paid until the sale is completed.

In other business, the council approved a contract with the Richardson, Texas-based company NewGen Strategies and Solutions, which will provide support services related to managing the city’s water, wastewater and solid waste enterprise funds. Those services may include performing a financial analysis of those funds, updating rate and fee analyses and reviewing wholesale rates and charges.

Under the agreement, NewGen’s costs will not exceed $10,000 without prior written authorization from the city.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.